|1883: Five hundred kilometres to the
south of Swakopmund the German explorer - entrepreneur
Adolf Luderitz had founded the
settlement at Angra Pequena which had been named Luderitz-Land and was
officially placed under the protection of the German Reich in 1884. German
influence had spread quickly north into Hereroland, and east to an
agreed border with British Bechuanaland.
The Germans were somewhat daunted at the enormous
task of trying to develop this vast and primitive desert land. The early
pioneers were soon to realize that the new found colony would need a port at
a closer proximity to the central highlands than
Luderitz. The British annexed
Walvis Bay as early as 1878 and had an established firm presence
there, so the mouth of the 'Tsauk-Haub' river with its lagoon of drinkable water
was considered a possible location. In 1884 the Imperial Navy Gunboat 'Wolf'
anchored off the mouth of the river and sent a landing party ashore to raise
the German flag.
Kurt Von Francois
|1889: German Expeditionary Force:
1889 Captain Kurt Von Francois with a
small contingent of Schutztruppe landed at Sa Bay, previously named by the
British, and known as Sandwich Harbour. They brought with
them several camels, the first of many that would see service the country.
The party journeyed north and scouted the area around the mouth of the Swakop River and submitted an encouraging report to the German authorities.
1892: Kurt von Francois:
The German Imperial Navy Gunboat
'Hyena' anchored off the mouth of the Tsauk-Haub River and
a landing party
erected two beacons. One was positioned at point where the Mole is presently
situated, and a second on a high dune, possibly where the lighthouse was
eventually built. These beacons marked the place where the new town was to
||1893: 23 August The 'Marie Woermann'
(1,772 ton) Anchors Off Swakopmund
The ship offloaded at 'Swakopmund' 120 Schutztruppe
and 40 civilians along with a few livestock and equipment considered
necessary to establish a settlement. There were no buildings in which to house the
early pioneers and many dug and lived in sand caves in order to gain some
shelter from the elements.
1894: The year witnessed the visit of four merchant vessels carrying many of the goods
required to help with the building of the new town, and the following year
saw five more vessels deliver goods to
1897: The population had risen to 113. Post and Telegraphic services were quickly
introduced and enabled contact with Europe and the world. The first
telephone service in the country was introduced in
1904: The Herero Uprising on
January brought an initial chaos to the fledgling colony. The economy
soon thousands of reinforcement troops along with all the paraphernalia
of early twentieth century warfare would pour through
until 1907 when the 'rebellions' were finally quelled.
Mules Coming Ashore
Offloading at Swakopmund Beach
Military & Police HQ Swakopmund
Acknowledgements and further reading: A1,H5, H8, H11, M3, P2
Swakopmund History Pt 2
Of Interest: The Hottentots referred to the mouth of the
river as the 'Tsoak-haub' meaning to push out. They viewed the river
when it flooded to the coast as being the earth's way of excreting
the rubbish of the seasonally dry river into the sea. The Swakop
River last flooded down to the sea in 1999. Silt and tree debris was
washed into the sea which was colored brown for about three weeks.